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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  April 28, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. breaking news from capitol hill. any minute now, the house is expected to put its stamp of approval on a short-term spending bill to keep the government up and running, but do not, please, pop the champagne corks quite yet. when i say short-term spending bill, we mean short, like really short, like just one week, while lawmakers try to hammer out a longer-term fix. so, a bright spot on the eve of president trump's 100th-day milestone, the government will not be shutting down, we don't think, but he also doesn't have any legislative wins to point to. so let's get to capitol hill and cnn congressional correspondent sunlen serfaty is there. sunlen, no government shutdown, but also no vote on health care. where are things headed right now? >> reporter: well, essentially
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towards a big pudge by congress right now. they're essentially buying themselves a lot more time today, a little more time today, i should say. they needed to pass a spending bill by midnight tonight, and they failed to get a longer-term agreement to keep the government running until september. so, they are just passing this very short-term cr, one week only, that will keep the government funded, keep the agencies open and running until friday of next week, may 5th. now, you know right now the house is voting on this. it is expected to pass. that then kicks it over to the senate. they are expected to take it up very quickly. we do not anticipate any hiccups coming from the senate. we anticipate that they will quickly take it up and quickly pass it. that will send it to president trump's desk for his signature, but of course, all of this just an exercise for one week only. negotiators will be back up here on capitol hill working through final details to potentially get a broader spending bill that they need to keep the government funded until september.
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so, it's essentially kicking this can until monday of next week, kate. >> yeah, agreement to not agree quite yet on the bigger deal. they'll get there, maybe. sunlen, great to see you. thank you so much. so, that is the news from capitol hill, but for president trump, it's also marking the 100 -- but president trump is also marking the 100-day milestone with truly a fleury of interviews right now, hitting on everything from a major, major conflict with north korea, as he puts it, threatening to pull out of the trade deal with south korea, also saying they, south korea, should pay for the u.s. antimissile defense system there, and a pretty shocking admission on how he misses his old life. listen to this. >> i loved my previous life. i loved my previous life. i had so many things going. i actually -- this is more work than in my previous life. i thought it would be easier. >> speaking there with reuters. the president also pulling back the curtain on his evolution on nafta. that is what the "washington post," and ashley parker is the
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washington correspondent for the "washington post" and she interviewed president trump in the oval office yesterday. ashley, a truly fascinating take that you got on how this whole nafta evolution, let's call it, happened. where the president really stood on nafta at any given moment in this past week truly was anyone's guess. so, who wha was behind what seemed like a sudden shift from terminate the deal to renegotiate it? >> well, a couple things. one is there was actually a very big lobbying push as soon as news sort of leaked out before the white house wanted it to that president trump might be considering with drawing from nafta. everyone in that administration or a lot of people kind of went into full gear. you had the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, you had wilbur ross, the commerce secretary, sort of going to the president and saying, i don't know that you really want to do this. their point to him was you can only withdraw from nafta once, and once you do, it sort of creates a situation that is so politically unpalatable for mexico and canada, that even if
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they wanted to go back to the negotiating table, they wouldn't be able to. so, their point to him was sort of preserve your leverage, and once you pull out, you've sort of blown all your powder. so that was one point of power. he also heard from the mexican government, from the canadians, from chamber of commerce people, farmers. there was a lot of pressure not to actually go ahead with this. >> and ashley, was it really the agriculture secretary showing him a map of who would be impacted that changed his mind? >> so, i don't know if that was the key thing that changed his mind, but one thing we learned in our reporting was that, yes, the agriculture secretary and wilbur ross, secretary of commerce, went into the oval office, showed him a map that sort of -- it was a map of the country that explained to him which areas would be particularly hard hit if he went through with this, especially on agriculture and manufacturing, and sort of the brilliance of this was they overlaid this map with the counties and the states that trump had won during the election, and they short of showed him, not only are americans going to be hit, but
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you're really hurting a lot of your supporters. >> hmm. how many people were in the room during your interview? i mean, the way other people have described it when they sit down with the president in the oval office is like it's a revolving door of folks coming in and out. >> so, to be clear, the interview was actually conducted by my colleague, phil rucker, our bureau chief, and he was in the oval office with the president. i know jared kushner, the president's son-in-law was there. i believe reince priebus, the chief of staff was there for a bit, and i think he mooy have seen a few other people milling about on his way in and way out. but i will say, it's not sort of dozen people who sometimes sit in on these interviews. >> in all of these interviews, in the final hours before he hits the 100-day mark. do you get a sense that this is part of, i don't know, a white house strategy to have him be part of all these interviews, or do you get a sense it was more the president just wanted to talk? >> so, i think it's two-fold. this story, actually, this was a story we were trying to do reconstructing how he sort of
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shifted on nafta and changed his tune on taxes, and we heard very late in the day that the president was interested in kind of walking us through his thinking, and i think this with us particularly, with the "post," he just wanted to kind of chat. but you are right, there has been a slew, this entire week of the first 100-day interviews, and i think that's a very concerted effort by the white house. they want to show tangible accomplishments, and when they can't do that necessarily, they want to show at least sort of the veneer forward progress of motion. and not only has the president been talking, but his senior staff has been hosting background briefings for reporters to try to, you know, brag about what they think the president's done so far. >> yeah. still, the president, though, calling that 100-day milestone a ridiculous standard. great to see you, ashley. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> reporter: so, nafta is just one of the big headlines coming out of the flurry of interviews that the president's doing ahead of the 100-day milestone. with me to discuss is cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein, senior editor for "the atlantic" and cnn political
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commentators kayleigh mackanin and doug hide is here as well. doug, the president to reuters, moving away from nafta, but here's one thing i wanted to get about capitol hill, government shutdown, the countdown clock that is not now. here's the quote -- "if there's a shutdown, there's a shutdown." and he added that democrats would be to blame. what kind of bargaining position is this in your mind? i mean, do you really think that the president doesn't care if the government shuts down? >> no, i think he does care, because tomorrow's his 100th day, and if that is the headline on every paper and on every television set tomorrow, that we are 100 days into the trump presidency and the government's shut down, that's a bad thing for him. but i'll tell you, kate, i talked to a republican member last night who's a conservative southern member, and she used two words to me -- rocky ground. she said that republicans are on rocky ground right now in how they move forward, they're in the dark, they don't know what the path forward is, and they're not seeing the leadership from the white house that they need. that's the one thing that donald
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trump really needs to fix. whether we shut down or not, and i don't think we will. we'll pass a cr. but moving forward on the health care bill or whatever the issue may be, there's uncertainty from house republicans, and they're tired of being on this rocky ground where they can't move forward. >> that is a fascinating take, doug. ron, let me bring you in for a little perspective. i mean, if you look -- if we stick on the government shutdown that wasn't, at least for a moment, for a second. if you look back at the past shutdowns, who does end up getting the blame? how does it not reach the white house? >> everyone -- >> because he clearly, look at his twitter feed, he says it's democrats. >> in the past, we have had shutdowns with divided government. >> that's right. >> that's been the problem. so, i would assume that if you have a shutdown with unified control of government, there would be a pretty clear place to place the blame. and i do think, as we talked about before, look, there have been elements of the agenda since president trump has become president that have faced majority resistance in public opinion, particularly the health care bill and the executive order on immigration from the muslim majority nations. but i think if you look overall, the biggest problem he has in public opinion, the reason why
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his approval rating is so much lower than any other new president at this point, why he's the only president to not reach 50% in his first 100 days are more about competence, temperament and execution than ideology and you have a lot of people who are unnerved about whether the way he's approaching the job is suitable for the job. so, i agree with doug. a government shutdown at this point against that back drop would be devastating, but it is also kind of the drum beat, the inability to kind of make the levers work, again, pulling the health care bill for a second time. all of that i think is contributing to the problems that they're facing. >> another thing kind of coming up in these interviews -- i want to get your take. we played the sound bite from the reuters interview at the top of the show where the president talks about missing his old life, kayleigh. he talks about how it was easier, that was easier. this is a lot of hard work that he's looking at right here. as you hear that, kayleigh, did the president on the most basic level do you think not understand how hard this job was going to be? i mean, there's -- like, really?
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>> no, i think he understood it full well. i think what maybe he didn't or what he underestimated was the amount of scrutiny he was going to get. and every president gets scrutiny -- >> even to that point, like, really? >> but the amount of scrutiny for every word that comes out of the white house, every word that he says, i don't think that he was ready for that. i think he is an incredibly talented person. i think he is going to work through this. i think tax reform is going to be a success, but i think the admission was candid, i think it was frank, i think it was honest. and in part, i think that's what people love about president trump who sloated for him. he will admit, i'm a confident person, i thought i could handle this, it is a little tougher than i thought. >> what about i miss my old life? do you want your president to say i miss my old life? >> if i was president and underwent the scrutiny, i would miss my old life, the fact that i can choose the interviews i have, that i can choose not to be public in every action i make within my company. i think he misses probably the privacy. and i think president obama and president bush spoke to missing
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the privacy at some points during the presidency. >> as jeff zeleny was telling us this morning, president obama in talking about on his 100th day, talking about his first 100 days and reflecting, he was asked about what surprised him, troubled hem, enchanted him about the job. he suggested that the job is harder than he thought. listen. >> the presidency is extraordinarily powerful, but we are just part of a much broader tapestry of american life, and there are a lot of different power centers. and so, i can't just press a button and, suddenly have the bankers do exactly what i want. or, you know, turn on a switch, and suddenly, you know, congress falls in line. >> so, what is your take on, as kayleigh put it, a candid admission from the president, when he says he thought this was
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going to be easier? does he deserve some slack? >> you know, look, i think what we just heard from president obama is that there is not one lever you can pull, one button you can press. there is a complicated kadri of things you have to do to be able to move the ball forward. note by president obama's 100 days, he had accomplished a myriad of successes that did not encompass just signing a bunch of executive orders. so i think what we heard from president trump in that interview from reuters was really an admission of, this is really, really hard. and not only is it really hard to get everybody coordinated, but this is hard. and i want to go back to my life, or maybe not go back, but i miss my life as a celebrity, where i enjoyed maybe the fruits of other people's labor and i didn't necessarily have to work as hard. i don't want to hear that from my president, but i know he's learning, and i hope president trump has come to the place where he understands, he just can't threaten and bully and push his way to hopefully get legislation passed, because that is not how this works. >> doug, along these lines -- i don't know why this one sticks out to me.
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maybe it stuck out to other people, too. the president also says in the interview that he misses driving. that was one of the things he said. he says he misses driving. i mean, do you really believe, first of all, that donald trump, even in his previous life, that he really drove that much? of all the things to miss, he misses driving? >> i mean, look, it's a long drive from the trump hotel to p.j. clarke's and 21, obviously, right? and donald trump was obviously behind the wheel the whole time. but look, all the things donald trump has said today honest llys somebody who didn't support him, i'm not bothered by this. i think it's fine to admit what a hard job it is. what's important is to focus on the hard job ahead. and right now we're looking at a shutdown, whether it's tomorrow, a week from now, or in september, and that's where republicans need to really get together and figure out how they're going to do this. there's only one thing different, kate, between right now and a year ago. it's that we have a republican president. and if we can't make these things work now, we're going to stay on the rocky ground that we've been on for the past five years and we're going to tell the american people we can't get anything done. >> ron, here's another interesting moment.
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>> yes. >> because i want to talk about the electoral map. >> yes, yes. >> we have to go back to the election, or at least the president wants to talk about the electoral map. from the reuters interview, midway into a discussion about chinese president xi jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he says are the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map. "here, you can take that. that's the final map of the presidential numbers," in the oval office handing out areas where he won marked in red. pretty good, right? the red is obviously us, the president says. why is the president of the united states, 100 days in, handing out electoral maps to reporters? >> look, the biographers will all tell you the same thing, they have said, this is someone who has struggled for valid -- who has never quite had enough validation. no matter how much success he has, he's always looking for more. i'm a kid from queens. he's a kid from queens who feels that the elite never accepted him, and no matter what he achieves, the first $1 billion, winning the election, it's never
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quite enough. and he is shocked at the resistance that he faces, you know, that he continues to face. but i do think -- i mean, you know, to doug's point, it's not everything is reassuring that came out of this, because i think the whole process on nafta is revealing of what ultimately is the challenge i think for president trump in the eyes of many americans. if the president was thinking about doing something as momentous as pulling out of the north american free trade agreement, normally, you would have an extended process. you would have white papers from the treasury department and commerce department, you'd have hearings on capitol hill, you'd have presidential speeches in which he's laying out his views, you'd have a procession of people coming in and arguing -- >> before you threaten it. you know you can only do it once. you know the rules. >> and none of that, there was none of that. the idea that he was on the brink of doing something this momentous and then shifting course at the last minute based on some interventions, of which most of the republicans on capitol hill were completely ann wear? that is a very improvisational way to be running the world. and i think that is something that -- very clear in polling -- even on election night.
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we talked about this before. roughly 20% of the people who voted for him didn't think he was qualified. they wanted the change, didn't like hillary clinton, were willing to give him a chance. so far, he is not reassuring those voters. >> but i do think that threat was strategic. i don't think he ever intended to pull out of nafta. i think he lays the bargaining position as far left or as far right as it needs to be with the intenth of bringing mexico and canada to the table. during the campaign, he said he renegotiated. and how do you get the best negotiation possible? you threaten the worst prerogative. >> go ahead, simone. >> i think that we cannot lower the bar for donald trump. we have to hold him accountable for what he says. frankly, it's not just folks like me. clearly, the trump supporters don't have any buyer's remorse right now, but a number of people who have been surveyed in polls, there's something out "usa today" today saying donald trump is very vulnerable because he's not come through on these promise aetz, reasons that people voted for him. economic security, nafta, bringing jobs back. and so, donald trump was definitely very explicit about saying he would renegotiate.
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if he didn't get his way, we're just going to cancel the deal. it's not that easy. and yes, there are very problematic things with the north american free trade agreement. u.s. wages were suppressed, u.s. workers lost jobs, you know, mexican farmers lost jobs. but donald trump and this administration has not taken any steps to really walk people through that, as ron said, and that is why his approval ratings are so damn low! >> doug -- simone, you always make me speechless in good and bad ways. doug, please play armchair psychologist for me right now. >> uh-oh. >> why do you think -- yeah, exactly. why i'm coming to you with this, i don't know. it's clearly friday, my friend. why is donald trump doing all of these interviews right before the 100-day mark that he called a ridiculous standard? is it a white house strategy or is there some element that donald trump, not even president trump, but donald trump just seems to talk this stuff out? >> i think the answer is either both or neither. look, we obviously know tomorrow's the 100th day -- >> take a stand, doug!
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>> a lot of possibilities there. >> it's also the white house correspondents' dinner. so, what is donald trump doing tomorrow night? what's he doing today? counter programming. as all the correspondents are going to be at the dinner congratulating themselves for the great job that they do, donald trump's counter programming. he's doing an advance right now this morning. he's going to be doing it tomorrow night. that shouldn't surprise anyone. >> what do you think, ron? >> i think he's worried that historians and pundits, as he said, are going to give him a bad verdict on the 100 days. they do not have a significant legislative accomplishment, and he is arguing his case. i think it's going back to that -- i am doing better than you think. i am stronger than you think. just to kayleigh's point -- [ applause ] >> like some form of presidential therapy? wait, hold on one second, ron. let's go right now to the president, the man we're talking about, the president of the united states. >> thank you, mike pence, a really wonderful guy and my great friend and a truly great vice president. he will go down as a truly great vice president. many thanks to secretaries wilbur ross and ryan zinke.
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i'm very proud of the job they're doing. we're also pleased to welcome many members of congress and energy industry leaders to the white house. and i want to get them immediately back over there because i know they're going to be voting on lots of different things, right? so, we can't spend too much time talking about drilling in the arctic, right? but we're opening it up. this is a great day for american workers and families, and today we're unleashing american energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying american energy jobs. our country's blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves, but the federal government has kept 94% of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production. and when they say closed, they mean closed. this deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions
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of dollars in wealth. i pledged to take action, and today i am keeping that process. this executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas tojob-creating energy exploration. it reverses the previous administration's arctic leasing ban. so, hear that. it reverses the previous administration's arctic leasing ban and directs secretary zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our treasury and jobs to our workers. [ applause ] in addition, secretary zinke will be reconsidering burdensome
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regulations that slow job creation. finally, this order will enable better scientific study of our offshore resources and research that has blocked everything from happening for far too long. you notice it doesn't get blocked for other nations. it only gets blocked for our nation. renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs, and make america more secure and far more energy-independent. this action is another historic step toward future development and with a future, a real future -- and i have to say, that's a real future with greater prosperity and security for all americans, which is what we want. so, i'm very proud of the people standing behind me. i'm far less proud of the people standing in front of me, the media! but i have to tell you that this is a very important day, and i want to congratulate wilbur and
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ryan and all of the people that have worked so hard to get this put together so quickly, and it's going to lead to a lot of great wealth for our country and a lot of great jobs for our country. so, god bless america. thank you very much. [ applause ] big question is who's going to get this pen? i don't know. [ laughter ] >> -- is what we say in alaska. thank you. [ applause ] >> who gets this? tell me.
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i'll give it to peter. right here. [ applause ] >> mr. president, on day 99, what's made the job harder than you thought? >> i don't know. we're moving awfully well. we're getting a lot of things done. we are -- i don't think there's ever been anything like this. it's a false standard, 100 days, but i have to tell you, i don't think anybody has done what we've been able to do in 100 days, so we're very happy. have a good day. thank you. [ applause ] >> all right, you see right there president trump signing an executive order with regard to offshore energy development, but importantly, at the end, the president, who does not believe, as he said, in the 100-day standard, does think that he has done more than anyone in the first 100 days, even though he doesn't believe in the standard. this now makes 30 executive orders. and that's color bars. don't worry about that. donald trump has now signed more executive orders in the first 100 days than any president
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since harry truman. back to this. moments ago, a stern message from secretary of state rex tillerson. he says the threat of a nuclear strike by north korea is real and the u.s. can no longer stand by and watch. plus, as the president warns of a major, major conflict with north korea, his administration once again contradicting itself on a key question -- would they talk directly to kim jong-un? and moments from now, an important interview live on cnn. the top democrat in the senate joining us to respond to the president. stay with us. mait's a series ofar is nosmart choices. like using glucerna to replace one meal or snack a day. glucerna products have up to 15 grams of protein to help manage hunger and carbsteady, unique blends of slow release carbs to help minimize blood sugar spikes. every meal every craving. it's the choices you make when managing blood sugar that are the real victories. glucerna. everyday progress.
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at mybreo.com. right now, secretary of state rex tillerson is heading up a meeting of the u.n. security council. the topic, north korea. he also just spoke about the rising tensions between washington and pyongyang. listen here. >> for the past 20 years, well-intentioned diplomatic efforts to halt these programs have failed. it is only by first dismantling them that there can be peace, stability, and economic prosperity for all of northeast asia. with each successive detonation and missile test, north korea pushes northeast asia and the world closer to instability and
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broader conflict. the threat of a north korea nuclear attack on seoul or tokyo is real, and it is likely only a matter of time before north korea develops the capability to strike the u.s. mainland. >> joining me now to success, republican congressman from illinois, alex kinsinger, on the house foreign affairs committee. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> the president did a bunch of interviews overnight, but in one of them, he said about north korea, there is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with north korea, absolutely, says the president. congressman, when you hear that, you think what? >> well, look, i mean, it's frightening to hear it. i think the president's actually correct. and if you look at where we're at right now, north korea in a nuclear position is exactly where we spent years building an iran nuclear agreement, the jpoa, to prevent iran from getting there. so, north korea is where we're
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trying to stop iran from going. so, they have nuclear weapons. every missile test, every atomic test, they get better at that, and they're perfecting their intercontinental ballistic missile technology, which, by the way, threatens not just our allies. that would actually threaten the mainland united states. so, it's a very serious situation. a military strike is the next-to-worst option. the worst option is allowing, you know, north korea to get an intercontinental ballistic missile they could put nukes on. >> so, with that in mind, congressman, the secretary of state said in an interview of his own with npr that the united states is open to direct talks with north korea. i mean, set aside the fact that this is in direct contradiction to what the white house and the vice president said just last week, what do you think of that possibility? >> well, i think when the timing's right, it should be a possibility. ultimately, we want to get to where north korea does not have nuclear weapons, where we have a denuclearized korean peninsula. that time for direct talks is not now. we have tried that in the past, and each time it's failed.
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so, what you're actually seeing play out in realtime is how military pressure, a military instrument of power option can be used to back the diplomatic instrument of power option, because when you don't have a credible threat of force, it is almost impossible to get a good deal with an adversary, unless they actually fear you could use that. so i don't think there is any sprint by this administration for military action in north korea, but what they're making very clear is that that is a possibility if we don't see some diplomatic success. >> listen here to what the president said about the north korean leader specifically, kim jong-un. listen to this. >> he's 27 years old. his father dies. he took over a regime. so, say what you want, but that's not easy, especially at that age. i'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit. i'm just saying, that's a very hard thing to do. as to whether or not he's rational, i have no opinion on it. i hope he's rational. >> there's a couple things there, congressman. i mean, do you get -- when you heard that, do you think that the president is expressing some
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kind of sympathy for kim jong-un? i mean, you've literally called kim jong-un literally crazy before. >> he is, yeah. no, i don't know if he's expressing sympathy. i think he's making the point that, yeah, i guess rising to power as a dictator of a country may be a tough job. that doesn't mean kim jong-un is a good person. in fact, he's quite evil. in terms of the rational thing, i think kim jong-un absolutely is crazy, but that doesn't mean he doesn't think in rational terms. and i think what he's thinking right now is, if i get nuclear weapons, i'll be in the nuke club. well, he has nuclear weapons now, but if i have the ability to deliver it, i'll be in this clurks i'll be protected. so, he's rationalizing the reason to get it, but his behavior is irrational and crazy. you think about saying a comment like we're going to have a super mighty strike against the united states, sane people don't say things like super mighty strikes. >> you just did, just telling -- no, kidding, congressman. let me ask you this quickly, because we have to go. leadership has announced that there's no votes on health care this week. the latest cnn vote count as you
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as undecided. has anything changed for you? >> no, still there. we're working through the bill. there were changes. we just saw the amendment a few days ago. and i want to make sure, i think when you're talking about a sixth of the economy, you have to take your time and figure out where to go. so, i'm still there and hopefully will have a decision soon. >> congressman, thank you so much for coming in. >> any time. >> we appreciate it. for all of our viewers, an update from the house floor, as the congressman will know, the house just had their vote and gave their stamp of approval on that stop-gap, short-term spending measure to make sure the government does not shut down. but again, this now kicks the can down the road just one week. negotiations still under way for a broader spending measure to keep the government continually open and funded. we'll get more on that. so, thousands starting to line up at the nra conference where a short time from now president trump will become the first president since -- sitting president since ronald reagan to address the group. no guns allowed, folks! i know you're wondering. we'll take you there live. and moments from now, a big interview live on cnn. the top democrat in the senate joining us on north korea.
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let's go live to capitol hill right now for a special interview. cnn's manu raju's sitting down live on capitol hill with the top democrat in the senate, senator chuck schumer. hey, manu. take it away. >> reporter: hey, thanks, kate, and thank you, senator schumer, for sitting down with us. >> great to be here, manu. >> reporter: so, we're heading into day 100, of course, of the trump presidency. >> yes. >> reporter: he's talking tough on north korea. he said last night that there's a chance we could end up having a "major, major conflict" in
quote
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north korea. what's your reaction when you hear the president of the united states raise the specter of war? >> i wasn't -- i don't think those were the right words, but handling it all wrong.he's - the only way to really stop north korea from doing what it's doing short of war is to get china to fully cooperate, because they control all the trade. they control the entire economy, really, of north korea. my view is to get the chinese to do something real, you have to be tough with them on trade. trade is their mother's milk. they care more about economic exports and vitality than anything else. so, when the president's sort of nice to them and says he's backing off without anything, they're not going to help him on north korea, they're not going to help us on trade. >> reporter: but why would they help if he labeled them a currency manipulator? >> because they would feel they can't push america around anymore, what they've been able to do for administration after administration. they want something from us. stop doing that.
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and the president could say, then behave with north korea the way you should be. >> reporter: so, you think he should be tougher on china. >> much tougher. and i'm surprised the great negotiator isn't negotiating very well on this. >> reporter: rex tillerson said last night that perhaps it could be direct negotiations with north korea. do you think that's the right approach? >> i don't. i think the right approach is to focus on china in the way i said. >> a number of people, particularly democrats, are concerned about him as commander in chief, the president as commander in chief, particularly with all of these conflicts that are happening around the world. what do you think? are you comfortable with the president leading the military at a time of war? >> well, the $64,000 question. he has a team that most people, myself included, like -- secretary of defense mattis, head of the -- i would have really worried with flynn as head of the national security council. any man who can get up, a general, and lead chants of "lock her up" during the campaign doesn't seem like much of a commander in chief or
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leader to me. but with mattis and mcmaster there, i have faith in them. and the question is, will they resist the president if he's impulsive? and if they do, we can feel pretty easy. let's hope that happens. >> reporter: do you trust the president as commander in chief right now? >> i think -- well, the president is sometimes impulsive. he does things -- look at this tax proposal. it's not foreign policy, but what i read in the newspaper, he saw an op ed and then surprised all his staff by saying, we have to put out a tax plan in a week. now, this is complicated stuff. by acting so quickly and impulsively, he's going to mess up tax reform you know. we've looked at his first 100 days. it's been broken promises after broken promise to the working people of america. the tax bill exemplifies that. it helps the very rich and the very wealthy and doesn't help the middle class. it's the same thing on health care. >> reporter: do you think he'll be impulsive on foreign policy decisions, military decisions? >> i don't know. i haven't seen that yet, but
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what gives -- you asked about the administration. i have some degree of faith that mattis and mcmaster are in charge, and they'll be pretty good. >> reporter: so, last night the president also said this of being president -- "i thought it would be easier," and he said this is more work than in his previous life. what are your thoughts about that? >> mr. president, you are in the nfl. this is the big leagues. and of course it's a hard job. it's probably the hardest job in the world. >> reporter: were you surprised to hear him say that? >> very. >> reporter: through this -- a big distraction, of course, has been this russia investigation, continued revelations about russia and the contacts that occurred between trump officials and russian officials, allegedly. do you think this issue of russia is going to continue to loom over the trump presidency? >> yes. if i were giving the president advice, i'd say we should have a special prosecutor or an independent counsel and let them go do their job. it's looming over the presidency
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significantly. if, if, if -- we don't know -- but if the trump campaign colluded with russia, that's very, very serious stuff. and there's at least enough evidence to demand a full-fledged investigation. and one thing i'd say to the investigators is look for the facts, but look for the money. there's all kinds of money trails here. we saw this with flynn, manafort probably has a money trail. i think this is going to lead to serious, serious stuff. >> reporter: you think a money trail between trump associates and russian officials? >> well, i don't know. he hasn't made his taxes public. we don't know if it's the president, but we certainly should follow -- there's an obligation when there are these serious allegations to follow the money trail with all of these folks. >> reporter: is there anything that you have seen that suggested or financial links -- >> no, it's my instinct. >> reporter: your instinct. you're a member of the so-called gang of eight. i know you can't reveal top-secret information as perhaps i may like, but --
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>> always try to please you, manu. >> reporter: thank you. >> but not by revealing -- >> reporter: is what americans now know about trump administration interaction with the russians, is that the extent of it, or are there more meetings, more things -- >> you know, i am not going to talk about anything that i might have gotten classified information on. >> reporter: without getting into the details, can you -- >> i'm not getting into the anything. >> reporter: the president has said this whole russia thing is a hoax. is it a hoax? >> it's not a hoax. >> reporter: why do you say that? >> well, all the things you see in the newspapers. many of them show serious, serious allegations. that's why we need an investigation. and the american people don't think it's a hoax. even republicans don't think it's a hoax. >> reporter: the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, has agreed to come before the senate intelligence committee. the white house has acknowledged two meetings that he has had so far with the russian ambassador and the head of a russian bank. do you think there have been more meetings between kushner and russia? >> no comment. >> reporter: you have no comment about jared kushner? >> none. >> reporter: would you be involved in the questioning before the senate intelligence
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committee? >> i've generally left it to the senate intelligence committee. i think mark warner's doing an excellent job. i think that senator burr has moved too slowly. he's eventually done the right thing, but he has to be prodded every step of the way, and i don't think that's good. >> reporter: would you urge him to step aside from this investigation? >> well, i have some faith in mark warner, and so far, mark has done things, you know, gotten the things we've needed. it's just taken a very long time. >> reporter: you also called on jeff sessions to resign as attorney general because he did not disclose those contacts that he had with the russian ambassador. do you think they would be worthwhile for sessions himself to be interviewed by the senate intelligence committee? >> yeah, i think -- look, there are lots of questions about jeff sessions. that's why i called for him to resign, and the attorney general's a special office. it's the chief law enforcement of the land. you have to be impeccable. so, if there are outstanding questions about you, as there have been with jeff sessions, a, i don't think that person is the right person for attorney general, but b, yeah, i'd be happy if they brought him before
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the committee and had him testify. >> reporter: do you know if that's going to be the case? >> do not know. >> reporter: some democrats, perhaps wishful thinking, but they think that this russia controversy could turn into a full-blown scandal, that it could end the trump presidency, some think. congressman castro, sits on the house intelligence committee, said that some trump associates could end up in jail. do you agree with any of that? >> i am not going to, again, any parts of the -- since i know many more things that are classified, i'm just not going to comment on it. it's a serious investigation. they ought to follow every lead. if the white house tried to interfere, that obviously would be very, very serious and possibly criminal. i hope they don't, but we ought to just go forward and get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: so, reflecting -- you look back at the first 100 days here. what sticks out to you personally from the first 100 days? >> what sticks out to me is just that the president has campaigned one way as a populist against both the democratic and republican establishments, talking to the working people. his presidency has been just
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dominated by the hard right special interests. look at the cabinet. he said he was going to, you know, he picked a cabinet of billionaires, people with conflicts of interest. he was going to clean the swamp? this one was an amazing thing to me! not only are they going to let people who lobbied and were lobbyists on a special issue work in the white house, but they're going to keep it secret. that's cleaning the swamp? on issue after issue. on tax reform, all for the wealthy people. health care, big tax cut for the wealthy to cut health care to the individuals when he had promised everyone's going to get health care and get it better. on infrastructure, which would create jobs, we haven't heard a peep out of them, even though we've sent them our democratic trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. so, the president has really had 100 days. i think it's one of the worst 100 days i've ever recalled for a president. >> reporter: do you have any -- >> and i'd say this, when the president says it's the best ever, saying in a sense it surpassed roosevelt, who passed
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something like 70 laws in 100 days that changed america for a generation, there's an unreality to the whole thing. >> reporter: do you have any concerns that wall street ties of some of the trump associates? >> of course i do! >> reporter: you do. you represent wall street. >> that's true, but that doesn't mean they should be secretary of treasury and so many other different offices in the government. and if the policies that the president -- the buck stops with the president, obviously, but if the policies the president had evoked were in consonance with what he campaigned on, helping middle class people, i'd worry less, but they aren't. they aren't. they're in total, total agreement with the hard right. and you know, the hard right has been a powerful force in america. they've been very negative force. they're always attacking, saying don't do this, don't do that. now they're in charge, because trump has put them in charge. their policies are so far away not just from the average american but from the average republican. if i had to give advice to the
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president, you'd better break yourself free of the hard right or your next 100 days and all the 100 days after are going to be as big a flop as this 100 days has been. >> reporter: but senator, you as -- when the republicans were in the minority, you called them the party of no. you attacked them for that. >> yep. >> reporter: isn't that what democrats are doing right now? aren't you the party of no? >> well, let's see, on health care, all he needed -- they're in charge. all they needed was republican votes to pass it in the house. they were unable to do it. >> reporter: but you guys are opposing him on every turn. >> no. we have given him a path. you know, compromise means working with the other side. it seems the president's idea of compromise, at least thus far, is he comes up with his own plan, never talks to us and says you support it. that's bipartisanship. that's not how america works. that's not how congress has ever worked. that's not how you negotiate things. >> reporter: is there any chance the health care bill that's in the house right now, if it passes, it will pass the senate? >> no. >> reporter: you're that confident? >> i don't think so. it is so bad for the average state, for the average working
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family, that it's very, very hard to see that bill. and by the way, i don't think it would ever get there, because the way they've crafted the bill, these are arcane senate rules, but it would fail the byrd rule. the whole fulcrum of the compromise, which says the states can opt out of pre-existing conditions will fall, as it needs 60 votes. >> reporter: . he's come after you. called you the head clown. he tweeted that. called you a total hypocrite for meeting vladimir putin. >> i ignored them. i said before when the president flattered me it didn't matter. when the president calls names which he loves to do i guess, didn't matter either. i go by values. i will not oppose things as mitch mcconnell did so often just because the name trump is on it. he's got to meet us. it's got to have some of the
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values. >> have you talked to him? i talked to him more now than before. but not about the serious issues. i told you about my view on china. he listened. he didn't say anything. i told him on infrastructure we'll work with him but he's got to spend real dollars. no answer. in other words, we don't talk about -- he doesn't engage at least with me, and i think most other democrats, on the serious issues. >> well, senator, it looks like we are out of time. thank you so much for sitting down with us. kate, back to you. >> always a pleasure. >> thank you so much, manu. thank you so much, senator schumer. great to have him for such a period of time. we really appreciate it. that's from capitol hill. let's talk about president trump. he's about to take off from joint base andrews. he's heading to atlanta for the annual gathering of the national rifle association. the president will be addressing the crowd and we will bring that to you live of course. we'll be right back. comfortable you are in it.
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the big bad wolf now has a job on a wind farm. call geico and see how easy it is to switch and save on homeowners insurance. this week's cnn hero was living alone on the streets. after struggling for years she was able to create a stable life and dedicate herself with others. in isreal providing them not only safety but something more. family. >> it's very lonely. when you don't have your family. i know exactly what they're going through. i wanted to feel alive. i wanted to feel secure.
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we can see it in a different way. >> to see more of her stories, go to cnn.com. the president hitting root today heading to atlanta to address the national rifle association annual gathers. third time a sitting president has spoken to the group since president reagan back in 1983 n. case were wondering, secret service has made it clear no guns are allowed in the convention hall while the president is there. white house correspondent athena jones is also there. athena, what are we expecting to hear from the president today. >> kate, i expect we will hear him talk about the importance of protecting gun rifles, something that he ran on. he often brought up the idea that he would be more pro second meant candidate for president, that his rival hillary clinton. we could also hear him talk about steps his administration have already taken to expand gun
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rights. rolling back obama era regulations such as one that made it harder for people with certain mental illnesses to buy guns and also an obama era ban on the use of lead ammunition. we know this is a very pro trump crowd. i'm told 10,000 tickets were sold. we know the nra endorsed candidate trump early on and spent millions and millions to help him get elected. especially in states like pennsylvania and ohio. in an op-ed u.s.a. today chris cox praised president trump and mentioned that he ran as the strongest second amendment candidate in history. i spoke with the nra spokes person here who said that the first 100 days have be the most successful in the first -- the most successful first 100 days for the second meant ever n. talking to folks here, they are
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also seinging trump's praises. i spoke with one gentleman from new york who was especially happy he appointed neil gorsuch to the supreme court. he believes it will protect gun rights. >> athena, thank you so much. we'll be back in 60 seconds.
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welcome to "inside politics". thachgs f thanks for sharing your day with us. it is day 99 and this eye opening reflection from the president. >> this is more work than in my previous life. i thought it would be easier. i'm a details orr yeiented pers. but i do miss my old life. i like to work so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work. >> from eye opening to eye popping at north korea. >> there's a chance that we

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